‘Joker’ tops nominations for British Academy film awards

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Joaquin Phoenix

FILE – In this Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020 file photo, Joaquin Phoenix arrives at the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on in Beverly Hills, Calif. The film “Joker” has topped the nominations for the British Academy film awards announced on Tuesday Jan. 7, 2020. The awards will be announced at a gala event hosted by Graham Norton on February 2. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

LONDON (AP) — The film “Joker” has topped the nominations for the British Academy film awards announced Tuesday.

The movie about the origins of the comic book villain received 11 BAFTA nominations including best film, best actor for Joaquin Phoenix, and best director.

Martin Scorsese’s gangster epic “The Irishman” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” were close behind with 10 nominations each, including for best picture. Sam Mendes’ war film “1917” also earned a best picture nomination two days after winning that award at the Golden Globes.

The Korean film “Parasite” also is on the best picture list.

In addition to Phoenix, the best actor nominees included Leonardo DiCaprio, Adam Driver, Taron Egerton and Jonathan Pryce.

The best leading actress will be chosen from among Scarlett Johansson, Saoirse Ronan, Charlize Theron, Renee Zellweger and Jessie Buckley.

BAFTA executives expressed dismay at the lack of diversity reflected in the nominations, which put only white actors up for the major acting prizes and have no women competing in the best director category.

“Being totally honest, we are disappointed, and that is not to take anything away from the people who have been nominated,” British Academy Chief Executive Amanda Berry said.

The nominees in the majority of categories are selected in a vote by 6,500 BAFTA members around the world.

The winners will be announced at a Feb. 2 gala event hosted by comedian Graham Norton, a past BAFTA winner for his TV chat show.

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